Staff Reporter GUWAHATI, March 28 - The mortal remains of eminent playwright, journalist, litterateur Arun Sarma was consigned to the flames today with full State honours at the Navagraha crematorium around 3 pm in the presence of a large number of his admirers from different walks of life.
Police personnel giving a gun salute to eminent playwright Arun Sarma at Navagraha crematorium in Guwahati on Tuesday. – UB Photos
The friends and admirers of the celebrated playwright thronged his Chenikuthi residence since early morning to pay their homage to the creator of Ashirbador Rong (The hues of blessings). Sarma breathed his last at a private hospital in Delhi yesterday. His body was brought to Assam last night.
“Not just a writer and dramatist, Arun Sarma was an institution in himself,” said educationist Dr Amarjyoti Choudhury, who also recited a poem as a tribute to Arun Sarma.
In the words of his brother and eminent writer-journalist Apurba Sarma, Arun Sarma was a pioneer in introducing modern thought process into the Assamese theatre literature. “Enriched with extensive study of the foreign literature, he also tried to bring in a new style of writing and story-telling. In the context of the family, he was the second head of the family whom we looked up to after the death of our father,” he said.
Writer Eli Ahmed also paid her tributes to Sarma. His body was taken to the All India Radio, Guwahati centre, which he had joined as a producer in 1960. From there, the body was taken to Rabindra Bhawan, where a number of eminent personalities paid their homage to Sarma, remembering him as one of the greatest playwrights and a multifaceted personality who greatly enriched the cultural and literary fields of Assam.
State Cultural Affairs Minister Naba Kumar Doley said that Sarma would continue to live through his works. Regarding the preservation of his works, the minister said the State Government, in consultation with eminent cultural workers, would chalk out a plan to preserve his works.
Film personalities Chetana Das and Pabitra Margherita, State BJP president Ranjit Dass, flutist Prabhat Sarma, singer Tarali Sarma and others also paid floral tributes to Sarma at the Rabindra Bhawan.
Representatives of the film fraternity, theatre, media, art, culture and literary world along with leading citizens from various social spheres attended Sarma’s last rites at the crematorium. Sarma’s son Achintya Sarma performed the last rites.
Among those present on the occasion included Birendra Nath Dutta, DN Bezboruah, Ramen Choudhury, Sanjib Hazarika, Haidar Hussain, Swapnanil Baruah, Pranjal Saikia, Uddhab Barman, Madhurima Hazarika, Nitya Bora, Kulada Bhattacharya, Pradyut Bordoloi, Dr Bipuljyoti Saikia, Prasanta Rajguru, Abani Bora, Utpal Dutta, Biraj Sarma, Dr Jayanta Das, Kamal Kataki, Kapil Bora, Jerifa Wahid and Abinash Sarma.
Condolences: A number of organisations and leading citizens today condoled the death of Arun Sarma. In a condolence message, The Sabita Sabha stated that Sarma’s rare personality and immense contributions will be remembered forever. The Chandmari Sahitya Sabha also condoled the death. Dibyajyoti Saikia, general secretary of voluntary social organisation Brothers, members of the literary and cultural magazine Bordoichila, Sadou Asam Karmachari Parishad, KMSS and Samahar Natya Gosthee also condoled the death.